Pizza Hut to fork out millions in dough for spam texts

The communications watchdog has dished out $2.5 million in fines to Pizza Hut over spam texts and emails, panning the practice as disappointing.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation revealed Pizza Hut sent out almost six million texts and emails between January and May 2023 to customers who had not consented to the ads or had opted out of the marketing.

The watchdog also found the the spam texts were topped off with more than four million marketing messages that were also sent to customers without an option for them to unsubscribe.

Samantha Yorke of ACMA said the authority was giving Pizza Hut a grilling because the practices were supremely egregious.

"The spam rules have been in place for over 20 years and there is simply no excuse for failing to uphold the rights of customers," she said.

"It is particularly disappointing when well-known businesses with large customers bases fail to meet their obligations in the way Pizza Hut has."

The investigation also revealed multiple customers kept receiving spam messages from Pizza Hut despite attempting to unsubscribe from the ads multiple times.

Pizza Hut has agreed to a three-year court-enforced action, with the company agreeing to appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with spam rules.

Regular reports must also be made by Pizza Hut to ACMA as part of the undertaking.

"We help people who receive unwanted spam by cracking down on businesses that don't comply with the direct marketing laws," Ms Yorke said.

"The penalties for breaching can be very serious and all companies that conduct e-marketing should check their compliance systems are working effectively so they're not spamming customers."

The action against Pizza Hut comes as ACMA delivered similar penalties against companies such as DoorDash, Uber and Kmart for similar spam breaches.

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